Adall

Abilities and Combinations

Recommended Posts

As we are all aware, combat is the current priority of the Crowfall development team. They have said it and I concur, if combat isn't fun... if it doesn't feel right... then there is no game. Since Crowfall is at its core a player versus player game, the combat needs to be stellar. It cannot fail in this realm and I wish them all the luck in the world to get it done and get it done right!

 

We have seen a few things so far on combat and ability usage. We have seen the KS videos and some of the leaked extended videos. People had major issues with those videos and they are listening deeply to us and working to put out something better. Wildstaresque floor telegraphs are at this point likely removed. The combat lacked any real weight and they are working to enhance the meatiness of it all. They have decided to move forward in a very interesting way! We have collision detection, we have active dodging and blocking, we have animation locks for combinations and abilities and we have WASD movement with mouse look. These are the main premises of the combat system and this is what we will shortly get to test. I look forward to it, and hopefully they can deliver.

 

All that said, I want to look beyond the basics and start to suggest something a little more fine tuned. Let's take a deeper look at how combat can play out and what kind of abilities and combinations we might like to see. These are my personal suggestions, and feel free to slaughter me over them or provide your own enhancements!

 

----------------

 

Combinations: What they should and should not be.

 

I want to start here as this is a big part of the combat system. I like combinations, chain build ups are a major thing in a lot of games and they can create their own challenge and often require quality decision making.

I really don't think we want to see these combinations just being spammed through the ranks, however. We know that the combinations are going to go rank one, rank two, rank three and so on. The last thing I want to see is a knight just sitting there spamming Onslaught one, Onslaught two and Onslaught three with a few breaks to actively shield block. They should be important, but I feel we need to see something deeper than just chaining abilities. I feel this is what made Guild Wars 2 combat feel so shallow in my opinion. Limited, yet spammed abilities with a couple of situation based abilities. There is almost no depth to the combat there.

 

Combinations, since they shouldn't just be spammed, should be powerful. Being able to get to the end of your rank chain should feel like a tide turner. They should have some sort of massive impact on the battlefield. Being able to get to rank three or rank five of a combination should be a big win for the player who pulled it off and a big loss for the opposition who let him get there.

 

I also feel like combinations should be the primary way of dealing damage, and because of this, they should be very momentum based. If you need to pull out of a chain to hit another ability, it should hurt your potential to get back into the swing of things. Rank one should be light damage, and the end rankings should bring the heavy pain or bring some massive potential for the player and his team.

 

A three tier ability system.

 

I propose Crowfall have a three tier ability system that allows for three types of abilities.

 

- Combinations

- Casted abilities

- Instant abilities

 

The combination piece is already thoroughly defined above. Casted and instant abilities are also fairly self explanatory if you have been in the gaming scene for a while. If not, a casted ability is an ability that has a cast time to activate. Whether it is a one second, two second or five second cast time... you activate the skill and it will take a while to go off. Instant abilities are basically casted abilities without a cast time. You press the button and the ability fires off immediately.

 

The reason for the three tier system is to allow some flexibility in combat. I personally don't want to be deep in a combination chain and have to swap chains just to get to a reactionary ability I might need to use for a specific moment. This game is meant to be tactical, and hopefully we can access the tools we need. For example, an area of effect crowd control spell shouldn't be an instant ability, but it also shouldn't be on the third rank of a combination. Perhaps a final rank if the crowd control is strong enough, but that is where this system can be flexible and why end ranks should be potent on combinations.

 

Combination ending abilities and the power curve.

 

As I mentioned above combinations should be about a progressive power curve. The developers have also mentioned that it should hurt to drop out of a combination. This is where you have a decision to make. What is preferable to you in the moment, continuing up the Confessor Explosion chain, where the fifth rank explodes the target and places a nasty burn damage over time effect upon anyone in a five meter radius, or do you abandon that massive damage to ensure you get an interrupt out on that enemy Ranger who is almost at his fifth rank of the Armor Pierce line and is going to drop your most important tank if he gets it off.

 

Keeping your tank alive was important enough, so you toss out your interrupt. Now you have to start all over again in your Explosion line, or maybe now you switch to a different combination chain entirely... but you are starting off weak yet again.

 

A system like this allows for tactical choices on the battlefield and punishes the player for not seeing their combination through to make other battle altering decisions. Remember those animation locks though, you might not be able to switch out of the combination right away!

 

----------------

 

In conclusion this is a basic overview of what I would like to see in the game. Again, let me know what you think and feel free to add on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* I really like forking chains. Side positional opener A lets me chain into either a bleed DOT or an armor debuff . The DOT option chains into a snare; the armor debuff chains into either a stun or high DPS finisher.

 

* You didn't mention chargeable abilities as one of your attack categories. Charging attacks lets you organically decide whether to make them instant or casted, with corresponding costs and effectiveness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like how this will require players to do some serious consideration before debuffing and restraining or damaging certain players as it requires time and energy to build up such a powerful chain. But for these chain abilities, missing the target will be a great loss for the player. Giving that Crowfall adds physics and destruction into gameplay, how will ranged players like rangers and stalkers manage building up the chain?

 

@Jihan, yeah I agree. In Wildstar and many other MMOs, they had abilities that require time to build up but the player is allowed to aim as the attack is charging.

 

What are your thoughts on passive abilities that will be activated for a short amount of time when the player is attacked (different passive abilities will probably be unlocked differently, i.e. getting a dot burn can activate some players' passive attack to move more quickly for a few seconds so they can make a quick counter.)

I don't have much thoughts on this yet so I'm wondering how you think this will work out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Combinations, since they shouldn't just be spammed, should be powerful. Being able to get to the end of your rank chain should feel like a tide turner. They should have some sort of massive impact on the battlefield. Being able to get to rank three or rank five of a combination should be a big win for the player who pulled it off and a big loss for the opposition who let him get there.

 

I also feel like combinations should be the primary way of dealing damage, and because of this, they should be very momentum based. If you need to pull out of a chain to hit another ability, it should hurt your potential to get back into the swing of things. Rank one should be light damage, and the end rankings should bring the heavy pain or bring some massive potential for the player and his team.

This was pretty much how most melee played in AoC and it was pretty great. If Crowfall had the same kind of system, that would be very awesome(except for being able to get to the end of combos by hitting into the air, of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

* I really like forking chains. Side positional opener A lets me chain into either a bleed DOT or an armor debuff . The DOT option chains into a snare; the armor debuff chains into either a stun or high DPS finisher.

 

Forking chains should work fine as well, they add a little more depth and I like the idea.

 

* You didn't mention chargeable abilities as one of your attack categories. Charging attacks lets you organically decide whether to make them instant or casted, with corresponding costs and effectiveness.

 

Charging as in, taking a five second skill, charging it and unleashing it later? Perhaps, it all works until it doesn't.

 

 

I like how this will require players to do some serious consideration before debuffing and restraining or damaging certain players as it requires time and energy to build up such a powerful chain. But for these chain abilities, missing the target will be a great loss for the player. Giving that Crowfall adds physics and destruction into gameplay, how will ranged players like rangers and stalkers manage building up the chain?

 

The same way melee would, it might just have different implications or styles. Perhaps the first shot causes light damage, next shot causes bleeding DoT and light damage, the next cripples with light damage and finally a knockdown on the fourth or a longer charged shot for heavy damage.

 

@Jihan, yeah I agree. In Wildstar and many other MMOs, they had abilities that require time to build up but the player is allowed to aim as the attack is charging.

 

What are your thoughts on passive abilities that will be activated for a short amount of time when the player is attacked (different passive abilities will probably be unlocked differently, i.e. getting a dot burn can activate some players' passive attack to move more quickly for a few seconds so they can make a quick counter.)

I don't have much thoughts on this yet so I'm wondering how you think this will work out.

 

Passives are fine, but since you don't actively manage them, I did not include them here.

 

 

 

This was pretty much how most melee played in AoC and it was pretty great. If Crowfall had the same kind of system, that would be very awesome(except for being able to get to the end of combos by hitting into the air, of course).

 

Yes, they should have to connect to move forward I 100% agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Charged abilities, with the freedom to release at any point during the charge, offers the player the option of tapping the ability for an instant cast, but weaker and less costly ability.  If they hold the charge longer, the effect (e.g. damage, time, AOE diameter, etc...) is increased and so is the cost (e.g. stamina or mana).  

 

If they hold the charge too long, it becomes overcharged and fizzles out causing no effect, while costing the full amount.  This is a consequence, which rewards skillful players that are able to time their charges close to max without going over.

 

In WildStar, you were able to turn so that your telegraph was buried into the terrain or off to the side while charging and then you could target the player and release the ability, in somewhat of a surprise attack.  Also, if you held the charge too long, it would auto fire.  I wasn't a fan of either mechanic implementation.

 

In the combat video from Ace a few weeks ago, they already talked about combat chains.  Charged abilities can still fit this model.

 

Charged abilities can be applied to offensive, defensive, CC, escape, and support abilities.

 

With charged abilities, it eliminates the need for a GCD or any CD, as the player will be forced to manage their abilities to their resource pool.

 

There are also abilities that may be "toggle" types (e.g. stealth), which wouldn't have a charge, but rather a drain.  This can gradually increase the amount of drain per second the longer the ability is active.  This would eliminate perma-stealth and require timing and resource management for these types of abilities.

 

All within the bounds of Risk and Reward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I would like to see in combinations, is "inherited" bonus. I have no idea if it's been done before, or if it would be more tactical than what we've seen in games so far, but I think it could be fun.

 

You can take all the "effects" that already exist in games and then you combine them with inheritance, with decreasing effects after each swing (or not).

 

Example :

I open with a damage buff : my strike deals 50% more damage.

Then I chain with a snare power : my strike deals 30% more damage (inherited from my first power), and slows the target movement by 50% for 3 seconds.

And I finish with point blank AoE : +15% dmg -30% mov for 2 secs + 2 meters PbAoE.

 

Then what ?

Either start again from 0, or keep the chain sustained : This needs to be thought through.

 

That way, I can really create my own combos out of all my moves range.

 

And you can tweak the inheritance options with character traits of abilities, add some inheritance buffing moves, one more step with a lesser ratio, one less step with a better ratio, and stuffs like that.

 

It opens the way for real player customization in combat moves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not really a fan of combinations, but i agree that if they are in the game, they should have significant value and a more challenging (as you described, decision making) execution compared to simply spamming Q for level 1/level 2/level 3 - you did it.

But to put it simply, I like the versatility of character toolkits and ability to adapt to current situations, so i hate to be a one trick pony or being 'forced' to cast in a certain series of spells to be 'max efficient' if you know what i mean. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well even if these combos are just spamable  and don't have to connect to get to the next rank there is active blocking and dodging in the game. So I mean if you just let someone spam their combo all the way up to the max rank that's pretty much on you for not getting out of the way or interrupting those attacks. It also makes it so its not at all efficient just to spam it because you have to time it right and make sure your attacks are not wasted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You said you want to get beyond basics, but all you did was define what a combo was, what an instant ability is and what a casted ability is. Might as well start a thread about why a car should have four wheels in Off-Topic.

 

I think we did a show 3-4 weeks ago where we talked about combos and Thomas chimed in during chat to talk about onslaught 1 and 2 and what things were possible.

 

In any case, why does Valor link me things?

 

If you want to go in really deep and talk about combat, discuss animation lock, animation sequences, animation interrupts, where during the animation is damage dealt, resource management, staggering with interrupts.

 

We currently don't know how resource management is done with the exception of Confessor's and Sin (Sin being an on-target "rage" or "combo point" system and god help you managing that with multiple targets in a fight. Does it time out and deplete on a target? In and out of combat? Can you spread sin from target to target? etc.) Anyway, it's hard to talk pacing of combat without knowing skill flow limitations will be.

 

But however, you can discuss combat and combination flow and branching. Control scheme for activating skills with in a tree (do you press Q or E like Echo of Soul? Is it via a menu system and a single button like Tera?)

 

Hell, with combos you need to talk about mobility.

 

With mobility and animations: how/when does a character take damage, are their immunity frames within an animation (Hi wildstar). Is there a damage threshold to knock you out of an animation or is it special interrupt skill only? If you don't have enough room to complete an animation, what happens?

 

This discussion is neigh on impossible to discuss until we see how classes work within resources or just see the game itself. Until then it's just a giant wishlist of us amateurs talking about stuff.

 

There are so many variables and possibilities within any combat system that it's impossible to discuss at all unless we have context. We currently don't have any context for a Crowfall combat system. Right now all we can discuss is what we liked about existing systems we've seen. That makes for more of an interesting discussion.

 

Go download and play DDO, TERA, Wildstar, Neverwinter, DCUO and GW2. What do you like and dislike about each system. Pay close attention to animations, when damage is applied to your target and to yourself. How do animations transition from rest to action. How do animations transition from one ability to another. For example, TERA has to complete an animations before you go to the next one. WOW stops your current animation and drives the new one as long as the GCD is not up.

 

That would be a good homework assignment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see multi-person "combinations". Not a LotRO-style timed popup color match stupid thing. It should have no obvious interface for the combination, though there should be a way empirically to observe the result of the attempt, so that, through practice and experimentation, the participants can learn how to get better at enacting combinations. The result should not be simply a binary, succeeds-or-doesn't outcome. If a group's timing is only so-so, then they'd get a meager combination result, with a non-linear scale that is pretty flat at the suck-end of the spectrum and suddenly hockey-sticks to awesome at the very pinnacle of execution perfection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@draegan, if you'd prefer a discussion about what games or mechanisms we're interested in sampling, there's a thread on such here.

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/7001-what-kind-of-games-and-mechanics-would-you-like-crowfall-to-sample-from/

 

And while your a lot more insightful about gameplay I'd have to say your wrong about the futility of discussing the gameplay mechanics.

 

This is a suggestion thread, and ACE isn't even decided on a combat system, their experimenting. There couldn't be a better time to discuss combat and weigh options, because if there is an interest we'd like to request, doing it before they arrive at a conclusion is smarter. They aren't guaranteed to choose the best method of gameplay, and some early inspiration can lead them to better conclusions. Waiting til the system is developed and inflexible is stupid, and you can rightly discuss various options within reasonable scope without complete perspective.

 

Given that the designers themselves have yet to arrive at a conclusion, it is erroneous to assert that our dialogue must confine to their unknown and undecided progress, they are testing variations, and we can draw attention to values and interests with the little contest we have.

 

All within reason of course. You've definitely touched on a variety of features, you should consider offering them more constructively rather than obstructively.

 

I for one am not very interested in combo actions, by themselves, they produce very bland gameplay, but they are a good feature to include. I feel that combo'd actions should be part of the general attack sequence, placing more emphasis on choosing the best attack type and executing it in an effective position and time. But I want actions between archetypes or weapon sets to behave very differently, that way even very similar roles or aesthetics can distinguish themselves tactically and offer unique experiences within the same atmosphere.

 

I won't bleed this response on though, more can be shared later. Much of my thoughts on many combat features already exist in my threads and scattered posts. There is a wealth of mechanisms worth discussing, and they should be discussed now, while ACE is experimenting and looking for the best way to design the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the show. I've talked about it in a lot of the episodes.

No thanks...

 

As for the post above though, while you have some good thoughts, I think you missed the point. There is a reason this is in the suggestion forum and not in general discussion. This is a place for people to put out ideas, and yes this one is quite surface level. It was intended as a next steps for combat after the basics and feel are hammered down.

 

You talked a lot about the importance of mobility and animation. I agree with you one hundred percent sir! I even talked about these things thematically as the basics of combat, all part of the feel if you will. The piece they need to get down before all else.

 

This suggestion was a next steps, the beginnings of fine tuning the mechanics after the controls. It was also an open invitation to others to expand upon as you and others have. Thank you for doing so!

 

Resources are something we know nothing about. We can assume health is in, but what else? Stamina? Mana? I suppose if you have any suggestions about resource management you could post them in another thread. Perhaps I will even do one in a month or so, and as always open to the community for enhancements or criticism!

 

As for the homework, it again misses the mark on the purpose of the thread. I have played a few of those games, and honestly just didn't enjoy them. I have my reasons, and those would be fun to discuss another time in another thread more geared to the concerns you brought up.

 

I have some homework for you too! Follow the link provided below and explore for a while:

 

http://www.readingcomprehensionconnection.com

 

Have a nice day Draegan!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the-1st-annual-edgy-awards.jpg

Just for you.

Wow, this is a huge honor! I don't have anything prepared, but I guess I should thank everyone who made this possible. The AllFather, if you hadn't gone missing, we wouldn't even be here today! If you hear this, thanks! To Draegan for his wall of text and to Navtyr for presenting the award. I would also like to thank my family and friends. You guys all rock! Lastly, but nit the least, to my fans. You made this possible and helped me get to where I am today. Hopefully we can snag one of these things next year! Edited by Adall

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No thanks...

 

 

 

Wall of text incoming. TLDR: lol 

 

Before you take the next step in combat, shouldn't you learn to walk first? Crowfall is barely crawling right now. 

 

But by all means, suggest away and discuss combat in some meaningless abstract way. Feel good about yourself. A days work well done. It absolutely does nothing for anything other than sitting in a circle patting yourself on the back.

 

You know what really help developers? Using examples and feedback from existing systems and why it works or why it doesn't. Not some "here's what we really wish could go into the game!"

 

If for some reason you actually really want to help, play the games I mentioned and use those game systems as reference points and context for basic combat systems that you want to discuss. You need context, not just a list of "wouldn't it be cool if..." ideas that may or may not work in the context of Crowfall's class (archetype) system with physics and collision detection or control scheme.

 

Do you know what kind of control scheme they plan on using? I think we have some glimmer of an idea. So we can use that, so think TERA.

Do you know how much you can pan the camera around the character or zoom out? What is your FOV? Does that effect abilities and combinations? I don't think we even know this.

 

But seriously friend, feel free to spitball random ideas. But the better, and more intelligent way to go about a suggestion/group think/community discussion forum is to use existing systems. Thomas Blair has mention the game is going to be between Wildstar and TERA leaning more towards TERA. He also was part of the development of DCUO's combat system.

 

If you're really serious and want to take the time to have an intelligent conversation, break down each game's mechanics to whatever basic "first step" or "second step" you want to and compare them to each other.

 

How does TERA's movement system compare to Wildstars? Can you turn faster/slower?

How does TERA's combo system compare to DCUO's? Is it fluid or less fluid? 

How does the feel of Wildstar's "always moving and casting" combat compare to TERA's animation lock? (one of your three categories)

How does the GCD or ability cooldown of each game's abilities feel when using a rotation in DCUO and Wildstar feel? Is it less or more fluid? Do you feel pockets of nothing to do while you wait for abilities to come back up? (instant cast skills like you mentioned) Do you give players enough skills to fill in time between "combos"? or do you give combos or abilities more weight so you don't fall into the "always pressing buttons" that you find in Wildstar (or WOW) combat; do you move closer to a MOBA style combat system where abilities matter and you're not always spamming them (LOL to a big degree, DOTA2 to even a much larger degree or DDO to an ultimate degree)

 

There are a lot of good concepts that you touch on, but you need context. Context helps you bridge the game between a ton of "wouldn't it be cool..." statements that mean nothing or do you find a common ground in different game systems and find ways to improve that? These are all questions developers ask when sitting around developing systems and building upon them. You don't have to go into minute detail of creating immunity frames within a dodge/mobility skill, but you can stick to the basics and have an interesting exchange.

Edited by draegan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best idea for ACE is to go with their instincts... and then once testing gets under way they should just listen to input from the best players. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.